Former United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage last night spoke about his “miraculous escape” from the light plane crash.
The MEP, who is standing in the British general election for Buckingham, was pulled bloodied and dazed from the crushed cockpit of the plane which was towing a banner bearing the slogan “Vote for your country – Vote Ukip”.
Early reports suggested the plane had come down after the banner became entangled in its engine.
In a statement released by his spokesman Duncan Barkes, Farage said of the crash, which also injured pilot Justin Adams: “We’ve both had a miraculous escape. We are both very lucky to be alive.”
Farage is being treated at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. A spokeswoman said he was likely to remain there “for a few days”.
Barkes added: “He is not going anywhere today. There is no way he will be at the count tomorrow. He’s got two broken ribs, a small chip to his spine and damage to his sternum.”
Farage’s wife, Kirsten, was at his bedside but later returned to their home in Westerham, Kent, to care for their two children.
Adams is in a stable condition in hospital in Coventry.
Describing how Farage was feeling, he added: “Of course he’s shaken up, but he is mostly feeling incredibly lucky to get out of the plane. He’s just been worried about the pilot. Yes it’s May 6, but today is about people, not politics.”
Farage was talking as soon as he emerged from the wreckage. “As soon as he came out he wanted a cigarette. You wouldn’t expect anything else really,” Barkes added.
He said the plane was flying low before flipping and hitting the ground.
Detective Chief Inspector of Northamptonshire Police, Martin Kinchin, said: “Looking at the wreckage behind me, I think you can make your own judgment as to how lucky they were.
“The people… were lucky to come out with not very serious injuries.”